During this time we at proActive would like to make sure all our clients and future clients stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope you are doing your part and staying home if you are not able to stay home and if you still need to work and require the use of the N95 respirator we like you to be aware of the alternative guidelines released for construction and industrial workers.

Over the past few weeks, we have heard about the shortage and need for N95 Respirators for those individuals working in healthcare and who are coming in contact with the COVID-19 virus. As we know, these respirators are in very high demand. What are the differences between an N95 respirator and a surgical mask? The N95 is designed to give a very close facial fit sealing around the nose and mouth, whereas the surgical mask creates a physical barrier over the nose and mouth. There are two types of N95 respirators one designed to protect construction and industrial workers from dust and small particles and the ones intended for healthcare workers.

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor released a statement regarding issue guidance protection during the N95 shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This release discusses how employers can use alternative classes of respirators at this time as long as they provide equal protection to their employees. The article goes on to discuss if the alternative respirators are not available employers may consider extending the use of the respirators or use ones past their shelf life.

If you like to learn more about the differences between the N95 respirator and surgical masks please visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the FDA website. For strategies around optimizing the use of the N95 or finding alternative solutions visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC website.

To read the full press release issued by the U.S. Department of Labor please visit the press release by clicking here.